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Relax on the beaches of Madagascar

Madagascar and its Islands

Mombasa to Maputo - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard SH Diana
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Embark on this 12-day exploration of Madagascar and its Eastern Islands cruise from Mombasa to Maputo aboard SH Diana. Depart Mombasa and head towards the landscapes of the Seychelles. Come across stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and gardens teeming with wildlife, including dolphins, whales, turtles, giant tortoises, pink flamingos, rainbow chameleons, and various species of lemurs. Dive among these pristine waters or visit market stalls for local spices. Your cruise ends in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.
Vilanculos MozambiqueTurtoiseProduce in Mombasa MarketLook for ring-tailed lemurs in MadagascarRelax on the sunny beaches of MadagascarRelax on the beaches of Madagascar
Highlights
  • Savor the aromatic delights of Mombasa's spice-filled market stalls
  • See the world's largest tortoise colony with over 100,000 giant tortoises
  • Head to Kirindy Mitea National Park to see several species of lemur
  • Learn about exotic local plants from the guides at the Arboretum d’Antsokay
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Mombasa

Arrive in Mombasa, relax, and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure.

*specific hotel and location to be announced

Day 2: Mombasa | Embark

A dynamic coastal metropolis, Mombasa draws you in with its rich history and beguiling blend of cultures. For centuries, Arabs, Portuguese, Asians, and British settlers have lived side by side in the enchanting old town, whose buildings meld African, European, and African styles. Perched above the sea, Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in the 1590s to protect the city, while the bustling spice market is packed with fragrant stalls selling pepper, ginger, and cardamom.

Day 3: Day At Sea

Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to the library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of your onboard lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from your onboard professional photographers.

Day 4-5: Assumption Island | Aldabra Island

A tranquil white-sand beach stretches for miles alongside brilliantly turquoise water on the west coast of Assumption Island. Part of the Aldabra Group, the kidney-shaped island lies more than 1,000 km southwest of Mahé and is known for its colorful butterfly species, including the belenois aldabrensis. You may bump into sauntering giant tortoises or catch a flash of green as an Assumption day gecko scampers past. Keep an eye out for evidence of nesting sea turtles near the shoreline.

Comprising 13 islands around a lagoon, this massive raised coral atoll is home to the world’s largest tortoise colony. More than 100,000 lumbering giant tortoises inch their way around the isolated archipelago’s protected landscape, which features hundreds of flowering plant and fern species. You might be lucky enough to spot swooping Aldabra drongos - endemic to the islands - or wading pink flamingos. Look out too for scavenging white-throated rails, the only flightless bird remaining in the Indian Ocean.

Day 6: Nosy Be

Sandy swimming beaches, biodiverse jungle, and vividly blue crater lakes are among the highlights of this verdant island off Madagascar’s northern coast. After exploring the French colonial buildings in the port of Hell-Ville, head to nearby Lokobe Reserve, accessed via guided pirogue canoe. Black lemurs clamber up the park’s centuries-old trees, and you might also catch a glimpse of a vibrantly hued panther chameleon, which typically grows to around a foot and a half long.

Day 7: Mahajanga

The lively northern port of Mahajanga (Majunga) is known for its charming French colonial and Arabian architecture as well as a broad seafront promenade lined with coconut palms. Be sure to look for the gigantic landmark baobab tree towering near the water. Long sandy beaches stretch north towards Cirque Rouge, a remarkable natural amphitheater whose crumbling rocks are a blend of red, ochre, and pale pink. The colors are at their most dramatic at sunset.

Day 8: Day At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Day 9: Morondava

The relaxed west coast town of Morondava is the gateway to the iconic Avenue of the Baobabs. Lining a bumpy track, this striking grove of centuries-old giants - often nicknamed upside-down trees - is especially popular at sunset, when the trunks cast long shadows on the ground, creating spectacular photo effects. To the south, Kirindy Mitea National Park is a protected coastal reserve home to several species of lemur along with the rare fossa, a close relation to the mongoose.

Day 10: Toliara

Mangroves, beaches, and an offshore coral reef surround Toliara (Tuléar), near the mouth of the Onilahy River. Just southeast of the city, you can explore the Arboretum d’Antsokay, created by a Swiss botanist in 1980 amid a swathe of spiny forests. Garden guides lead you past more than 900 mostly endemic plant species, and you might spy flitting butterflies or lemurs tucked into branches. Within the port, there’s also a fascinating small museum dedicated to local marine life.

Day 11: Day At Sea

Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.

Day 12: Maputo | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Mozambique’s capital city has an intriguing mix of Portuguese colonial and Soviet-style buildings on broad boulevards lined with jacaranda and palm trees. Architectural standouts include the early-20th-century domed railway station, painted in green and white, and the Smiling Lion, a distinctive post-modernist apartment block designed by Pancho Guedes. Exploring Maputo is also simply about wandering the historic district of Baixa and taking in the vibrant street scene of bustling pavement cafes, live music, and busy markets.

Ship/Hotel

SH Diana

SH Diana
SH Diana Observation Lounge
SH Diana Swan Nest

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$13,765 2-3 travelers
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
SH Diana Oceanview D4
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Oceanview D4
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Diana Oceanview M4
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Oceanview M4
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Diana Balcony D5
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Balcony D5
Located on decks 5, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or a double bed, distinct bedroom and living room areas, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6 sq. m balcony.
SH Diana Balcony M5
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Balcony M5
Located on decks 5, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or a double bed, distinct bedroom and living room areas, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6 sq. m balcony.
SH Diana Balcony D6
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Balcony D6
Located on decks 6, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or a double bed, distinct bedroom and living room areas, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6 sq. m balcony.
SH Diana Junior Suite
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Junior Suite
SH Diana’s Junior Suites features a Super King Size bed, separate living room area with homely flame-effect fireplace, private kitchen, luxurious en-suite bathroom and a 7 sq. m private balcony.
SH Diana Suite
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Suite
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
SH Diana Premium Suite
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Premium Suite
SH Diana’s Premium Suites feature a Super King Size bed, separate living room with homely flame-effect fireplace, luxurious en-suite bathroom, spacious walk-in wardrobe and a 12 sq. m private balcony.
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Room Service 
  • Wifi
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.
  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • We recommend every traveler to take out a travel cancellation insurance, travel interruption insurance and a travel health insurance policy with an assumption of the return transport costs of repatriation

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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